Saturday, January 26, 2013

A good scone is hard to find

I love me a good scone.

Trouble is, a good scone is hard to find. Like a good man, a good scone is warm and sweet, but not too sweet. A little hard on the outside, but still soft on the inside. Comforting, sturdy, but not too tough. Have I driven this metaphor as far as it can go? Methinks so, but you get it.

Scones can be tricky, especially when you have a toddler running around and your ambitious dreams of perfectly round scones are foiled by mischief involving matchbox cars,  crayons, stuffed animals or toilets. Hopefully not all of those things together.Just plan ahead and realize your scones can be close to perfect using Ina Garten's lovely recipe, as long as you lock your kiddo in his room (not really:)).

Ina's Cranberry Orange Scones
very slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home

4 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup
3 sticks of butter, very cold
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbls. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbls. orange zest
4 eggs
1 cup half and half
juice of one orange
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. dried cranberries and golden raisins
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Cut butter sticks into small cubes (I quarter each stick lengthwise, then chop) and return to the fridge. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, blend 4 c. flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. With mixer set to low speed, add butter a bit at a time. Mix until dough looks like small peas. Do NOT overmix it. You'll get tough scones and be super bummed.

In a small bowl, beat eggs slightly, add in cream. With the mixer set to low speed, pour egg mixture into the dough slowly. Mix until just combined.

Toss raisins and cranberries with remaining 1/4 c. flour. Add to the mixer bowl and mix until just combined.

Turn half of the dough out onto a well floured board. Refrigerate the rest in the bowl. Floor your hands well, this stuff is sticky. Knead into a ball, floor your board more and roll or press it into a one inch thick circle. If you're ambitious, use a greased circle cutter to cut scones. If not, slice the circle into six triangles with a greased knife. See my previous note about ambition.

Place scones on the baking sheets about an inch apart and bake 20 minutes or until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Whisk juice and powdered sugar together to make a glaze. You may use more or less sugar depending on your desired consistency, so just add a little sugar at a time. I like a thinner glaze, so I use less. Drizzle over cooled scones and sprinkle with sugar.

1 comment:

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